How to Encourage Collaboration

Today, interoffice communication is simple and convenient. Employees have a host of communication tools at their fingertips from email to chat to videoconferencing and more. But communication doesn’t always translate into collaboration. Collaboration occurs when a group of people work together to accomplish a shared goal – it’s teamwork, but amped up a notch. If you want to encourage more collaboration among your team members, use these strategies.

Build Carefully Constructed Teams

The makeup of a team impacts members’ willingness and ability to collaborate well. Throwing people together and expecting positive dynamics is a recipe for disaster. Teams should be strategically constructed and built around individual strengths and weaknesses. It is important to build teams of people who complement one another, but it is also important for members to get along well on a personal level. When team dynamics are impeding collaboration, it’s probably necessary to shuffle people around.

Facilitate Relationships

Teams work better together when they have real relationships with one another. You can foster such relationships by seating teams in close proximity, constructing open work spaces, encouraging the group to eat lunch together, and holding short team-building sessions once per week.

Successful teams are invested in and care about the success of the group as well as the success of the organization. The more time people spend together outside of project time, the more they learn how to relate to each other and the easier it will be for them to build productive relationships.

Delegate Tasks Strategically

If one person always seems to be in charge of the group, it could have a negative impact on dynamics. Make sure tasks are spread out evenly, so everyone feels like they are making a valuable contribution, and no one feels powerless to anyone else. If projects must have a “lead,” assign one and rotate the person in charge each time, so everyone gets a chance to develop leadership skills and no one grows resentful of anyone else.

Shake Things Up

Mixing up teams now and then can be a great way to encourage employees to build relationships and it also helps people understand the roles that others play in the organization. When teams think only of their small insular group, it can impact larger team dynamics. You want people to make decisions that will benefit the company as a whole, not just a small group. Every now and then, shake things up by rearranging teams and their objectives.

Looking for More Tips on Boosting Team Collaboration?

If you are looking for more tips on building productive, collaborative teams, or if you are searching for top marketing talent for your ag business, contact the agricultural industry staffing experts at Morris Bixby Group. We can help you develop recruiting and retention strategies to achieve your goals.


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